Talking heads last week went all atwitter over claims that Trump said the word nigger at some point in his past – yeah, like probably that morning when throwing a tantrum over Omarosa Manigault Newman’s claim.
Aside from the fact that nobody besides Ms. Newman, who is hawking her book, and the talking heads on the prowl to feed the 24-hour news cycle care, there’s another reason this pisses me off.
Why is it that folks can stand your ground and shoot a nigger, imprison a nigger (or a few million niggers), deny a nigger a job and a house and healthcare and dignity – the cops can murder niggers by the thousand, the president can trash talk about niggers from shithole countries – but they dare not speak the word and instead coyly refer to the “N” word.
I cannot speak for others, but I would personally prefer being called a nigger --- instead of being shot, stabbed, set on fire, dragged behind a truck, impaled by a flagpole, raped by a broomstick – or any other way – lynched, tarred and feathered, chained to the hold of a ship for months on end, or any of the other ways the lives of Black folks have been trampled en route to these golden shores or on these fruited plains. I’d rather be called a nigger than wrongly imprisoned or miseducated or discriminated against or denied healthcare, housing, a job or my dignity – but of course, that’s rather the point isn’t it?
Because as long as people can OMG and cover their mouths and tut-tut while daintily referring to the word, rather than the hundreds of years of deeds, well, it’s just ever so much more comfortable.
Stop avoiding the word unless you’re also going to stop the effects of belief in the word, and all the hate and disdain it represents.
Enough with the lie some folks want to perpetuate that they NEVER say the word. Who cares? Listen to any rap song from the last thirty or so years and you’re likely to be treated to a barrage of the word nigger.
And for those of you who think words don’t matter: listen up. Here are a few word I’d rather hear discussed, instead of whether a racist asshole like that Trump Chump – who probably says nigger fifteen times each morning before breakfast if his actions are any indication of his linguistic habits – said nigger in the last decade.
Genocide, murder, disenfranchisement, lynching, slavery, voting rights, unequal housing, unequal education, ghettoization, unequal healthcare (access and outcomes), job discrimination, Middle Passage, Diaspora, colonization, exploitation, family separation … you get the drift.
The problem with these words, though, is that they require folks to face some hard truths and wrestle through some ugly facts both in history and in evidence today. And that can’t be tidily summed up in one word.